What is Christmas all about? How do we deal with dementia and Alzheimer's during the holidays? What is Christmas all about?
Is it all for the children? Is it about family and gathering loved ones? Is it about remembering your favorite charity and filling food baskets at the food pantry?
Is it about baking cookies, writing cards, and singing carols?
Is it about the fulfillment of the promise of the coming of the messiah? Is it about hope and joy? Is it about peace and love?
Last year, Mom was hesitant about staying overnight at my house for Christmas Eve, and then visiting with my husband's family for Christmas dinner.
"I don't know these people." she said nervously.
Yes you do Mom, it's just the family for dinner.
And this was her worry last Christmas. Mom, you have known my in-laws longer than I have. My husband and I grew up in the same town, our folks knew each other through various groups and organizations. I have always been so happy that our in-laws have a friendly and supportive relationship w.r.t. my husband and kids. But, to her they were all new strangers.
This week I asked Mom to come stay overnight at our house for Christmas Eve, to have brunch with my kids. (I didn't even mention going to visit my in-laws.) She balked, she quickly gave me excuses why she didn't want to go: it's too cold, what if it snows, what if it's bad driving, it's too far, she doesn't want to leave her cat, she wants to sit right there. Do I want to add to her stress and distress?
Am I being selfish? Am I being selfish wanting my Mother with me for Christmas?
I also know if I don't pick her up, and someone tells her it's Christmas day, she's going to be mad at me for not picking her up. ("Where the h*ll are you? "When is someone going to pick me up?") Reminding her that I'll be there tomorrow or that I was there last night won't make a difference. She'll still fell mad, sulky, and neglected.
What is Christmas all about? Is it about hope and joy? Is it about peace and love?
OH YES, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute!